As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of this global media platform & Chief Encouragement Officer of our affiliated pro bono social impact enterprise; GoodWorks 360°, I was delighted to have the opportunity to get better acquainted with Clemmie C. Perry, Founder & Executive Director of Women Of Color Golf (“WOCG”).
Her nonprofit’s mission is to increase diversity and inclusion in the sport of golf for women and girls through instruction, on-course play, mentoring, networking, special events, health, and career-related opportunities. Learn more as you enjoy our inspiring Interview with Clemmie below ⤵︎
We’d like to hear about your professional journey before WOCG.
Prior to my journey with WOCG, I worked in Corporate America for two Fortune 500 Companies (Lockheed Martin Corporation, Aerospace & Defense Technology and Next Era Energy, Smart Grid Technology). I was the Corporate E-Learning and Training Manager, responsible for online content and curriculum for highly complex technical systems.
Tell us about your nonprofit and the inspiration behind it.
Women of Color Golf (WOCG) & Girls On the Green Tee (GOTGT), is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization that was started in 2014. The mission of (WOCG) is to promote and facilitate the inclusion of minority women and girls into the game of golf.
There are approximately 24 million golfers (19% are women, 4% are people of color and less than 1% are women of color). Historically, the elite game of golf was denied access to women and people of color. When I started to play in 2014, I saw very few women and girls of color. I was inspired and motivated to be a catalyst for change to make golf more welcoming to a diverse population. To date, we have trained over 500 women and 200 girls. The mentoring program (GOTGT), is designed for girls ages 10 -17, answering the ever-present need for strong, accomplished, and resilient female role-models. GOTGT seeks to create a spark of interest and inspiration in the game of golf. This inspiration is turned into action by connecting the motivated girls to mentors in our golf community. Our GOTGT program develops lifelong character-building skills of self-esteem, honesty, integrity, responsibility, healthy habits and teamwork.
What’s unique about your nonprofit?
We have customized training programs designed specifically for women & girls, that addresses the challenges and needs we will face on the golf course. Our lessons are designed with an “accelerated” approach, using both indoor technology and on-course play, to help expedite the learning curve and overall training time for novices.
When did your nonprofit launch and what’s been your biggest challenge?
Our non-profit launched in 2014 and our biggest challenge has been in the areas of sponsorships and fundraising for the Girls On the Green Tee (GOTGT).
Any noteworthy surprises or ‘A-ha’ Moments along the way?
Our “A-ha” moment was when WOCG & GOTGT received recognition from former President Barak Obama, for our work in the community, as a “Champion of Change”.
How would you describe your typical day?
My typical day is usually spent speaking to various organizations and community groups on the overall benefits of golf and how the game will impact every aspect of your life in terms of business, personal, health and well-being.
What about your “social impact/outcomes?”
We have been able to send a Florida A&M University College student to the U.S. Open in Erin Hills, Wisconsin, on a paid summer internship, sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA). In addition, we also worked with Dr. Renee Powell, the 2nd African American woman to play on the LPGA Tour to send a retired female veteran to a golf clinic in St. Andrews, Scotland (the birthplace of golf), to bond with other veterans who have experienced PTSD. The program helps rehabilitate wounded warriors, provides both physical and mental rehabilitation, and allows the veterans to build confidence and a support group outside of the military.
What’s the next big thing/challenge for your nonprofit?
Our next big opportunity is the Centre Club, Helping Hands Fundraiser on April 28th. The Fundraiser will help us to kick-off the Girls on the Green Tee (GOTGT) Mentoring program in Hillsborough County for 5th & 6th grade elementary girls at schools named after my Grand-mother and Mother (Clemmie Ross James Elementary and Doris Ross Reddick Elementary.) The implementation is scheduled for the Spring and Fall, 2020.
As a nonprofit leader, what’s non-negotiable for you?
Honesty and Integrity are non-negotiable characteristics for me as a nonprofit leader. We must commit to our mission, remain honest and operate with integrity in all aspects of the organization.
How can our readers learn more about/help WOCG?
BONUS QUESTION: What’s something interesting that most people wouldn’t know about you?
I worked as a Professional NFL Cheerleader for (2) NFL Teams, for a total of (7) years with the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.